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The Barriers of Indonesian Students in Enhancing English Listening and Speaking Skills

In learning English language, there are four language skills which should be understood by young learners. The four language skills are writing, listening, speaking, and reading. In understanding the English language, the learners have to understand and master all of those basic aspects. From those four language skills, listening and speaking take the important and significant roles in daily communication and educational process. Listening and speaking are the most vital skills in the success of direct communication.

Listening plays an important role in communication as it is said that, of the total time spent on communicating, listening takes up 40-50%; speaking, 25-30%; reading, 11-16%; and writing, about 9% (Mendelsohn, 1994). It can be conclude that, without mastering the listening and speaking, the meaning and the message of communication cannot be gained and delivered completely. Listening involves an active process of deciphering and constructing meaning from both verbal and non-verbal messages (Nunan, 1998).

The problem which will rise if someone doesn’t have a good ability in listening skill is getting misunderstanding when communicating with others. In studying second language, listening becomes the most difficult aspect which should be mastered. The results of surveys show that listening is a skill which cannot be neglected. Based on the TOEFL test found that listening is the most difficult skill that has to be controlled by students in Indonesia. This case can be understood because most of Indonesian people especially students do not have any opportunity for listening English except trough the show in television, radio, and film.

Moreover, most of teacher in Indonesia doesn’t use English when they are delivering the material in the class. The English language teachers are accustomed in delivering the lesson by using Bahasa Indonesia. The teacher just uses English in written form, such as reading passage on the textbook. The students will have assumption that English is just a lesson which should be learned in written form. This habit can stimulate students that studying English doesn’t need listening skill in a real life situation. It is very rare to find the use of English conversation in the classroom activity. This is the paradigm which should be handled effectively in the right way.

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